The acquisition of GNP Co. by Pilgrim’s Pride will help the company reach its goal of curbing antibiotics usage ahead of schedule. Pilgrim’s, which is a unit of JBS USA, had previously pledged to eliminate antibiotics from 25 percent of its supply by the end of 2018. CEO Bill Lovette said on a conference call that about 24 percent of the chicken Pilgrim's produces will be raised without any antibiotics "some time just after the first quarter of 2017," Reuters reports.
Without the acquisition, about 21 percent of Pilgrim's chicken would be raised without antibiotics, Lovette said. The company previously announced that it was converting a facility in Texas to antibiotic-free chicken production, which would have brought the company more than halfway to its antibiotic-free usage goal.